Since Bob and George Marshall and their guide, Herb Clark, climbed all forty-six of the High Peaks in the 1920s, more than ten thousand hikers have followed in their footsteps.
You can read more about some of the hiking challenges easing pressure on the High Peaks in the latest issue of the Adirondack Explorer. Subscribe here or download the app.
Here is a list of other hiking challenges in the Adirondack Park. Most have websites or Facebook pages that can be found by googling their names. Unless otherwise indicated, finishers qualify for a patch: » Continue Reading.
A man who allegedly flew a drone in the High Peaks Wilderness in June is headed to court in Keene next month.
The man allegedly flew and landed a drone on June 17th near the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Johns Brook Outpost. The man was issued a ticket after the incident was observed by a forest ranger.
The ticket was first of its kind for operation of a drone on the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve. It alleges the individual operated motorized equipment within land classified as wilderness. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) owns land with trailheads for some of the most popular mountains in the High Peaks Wilderness, but you wouldn’t know that from their recent promotions on social media and traditional print publications. That’s because the club does not want to exacerbate overcrowding in the High Peaks.
Instead of encouraging people to climb Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak, ADK is teaching people backcountry ethics, including Leave No Trace principles. “People are coming no matter what, so we don’t need to promote it, and what we need to promote is how to recreate responsibly,” said Julia Goren, ADK’s education director and summit-steward coordinator.
The education campaign is just one of several ways that ADK, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and other organizations are addressing the overcrowding issue. » Continue Reading.
On Sunday, June 25, Spencer Morrissey reached a major milestone in his hiking career: he climbed his thousandth Adirondack peak.
“It was kind of a sigh of relief,” Morrissey said. “It was kind of surreal, because I didn’t ever really think I’d get to this point.”
Morrissey chose Peaked Mountain near North Creek for his thousandth peak. He picked the mountain because it has a trail to the summit, which would make it easier for people to join him. Eleven people did.
Morrissey’s goal is to hike all of the Adirondacks mountains that are open to the public, or that he’s allowed to do through permission of the landowners. He’s counted 1,817 possible peaks. He’s not aware of anyone who has hiked 1,000 peaks, let alone all of them.
Forest Rangers found a 10-year-old Sunday morning in good health after he went missing overnight in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness.
Forest Ranger James Waters said he found the boy (who forest rangers wouldn’t identify because of his age) about a mile off the Short Swing Trail.
Waters had been on the way to meet up with another forest ranger near Gooseneck Pond when he took a break atop a boulder field. While taking a break, Waters yelled out, hoping the boy would hear him, which is standard during search-and-rescue missions. » Continue Reading.
In late June, when Justin Todd hiked Cascade and Porter mountains, he had no intention of becoming an Adirondack Forty-Sixer, let alone the ten thousandth. But less than four months later, that’s exactly what happened when he climbed Whiteface Mountain on October 15.
Todd found out in January that he had the honor of becoming the ten thousandth person to hike all the High Peaks and register with the Adirondack Forty-Sixers. » Continue Reading.
For years, biologists have been working to improve conditions for the native fish in Lake Champlain. Among other things, they have removed old dams to help spawning salmon migrate up rivers and have reduced the population of sea lampreys that prey on salmon and lake trout.
Now scientists are trying to fully understand how salmon are impacted by alewives, an invasive species that has become a main source of food for salmon, a keystone predator that eats smaller fish.
Alewives were first discovered in Lake Champlain’s Missisquoi Bay, in Vermont, in 2003. Since then, they have grown in number and replaced native rainbow smelt as the main forage fish for predators in the lake, and they are likely here to stay. » Continue Reading.
While fishing in Black Pond on a rainy mid-April day, Jake Kuryla caught a 13-inch brown trout. The fish surprised the Paul Smith’s College fisheries major because Black Pond is a specially designated brook trout water.
Located on Paul Smith’s College property in Paul Smiths, Black Pond is used to raise Windfall strain brook trout for stocking purposes. Every fall, DEC live trap brook trout in the pond to get eggs from the females and milt (semen) from the males. The DEC then uses the fertilized eggs to raise young trout that are stocked in other ponds. » Continue Reading.
In 2015, Old Forge native Tyler Socash decided to take the money he had been saving for a car and spend it on something more experiential: three long-distance hiking trips.
Starting in August, he ended up hiking seven thousand miles as he finished the Pacific Crest Trail, Te-araroa (Long Pathway) in New Zealand, and the Appalachian Trail. After the yearlong trip, the thirty-year-old came home to the Adirondacks, where he returned to a former employer, the Adirondack Mountain Club, as a wilderness trip leader. » Continue Reading.
New fishing regulations go into effect on April 1, the start of the trout season statewide.
Numerous changes will impact Adirondack waters and anglers.
The new regulations include the elimination of special brook trout regulations at Whey Pond in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest. The pond neighbors the Rollins Pond and Fish Creek camping areas. Previous regulations had required anglers to release brook trout under 12 inches and to only allow them to keep three during an outing. Anglers were also required to use artificial lures.
The restrictive regulations were in place to protect brood stock for the Windfall strain of heritage brook trout. Whey Pond had been reclaimed in 1989 for the purpose of eliminating invasive fish, but two invasive fish species living in the pond have hurt the brook trout population there. » Continue Reading.
As we neared the summit of St. Regis Mountain this past January, the conditions changed dramatically. Tree limbs — caked in snow and ice — hung down over the trail, and as we walked crouched through the tangle of branches, snow cascaded upon us.
“Most of the time I go past that rock outcropping, I feel like I’m home free,” said Doug Fitzgerald, co-chairman of Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower. “Not today.”
The conditions slowed our travel, but the scenic beauty more than compensated for any inconvenience. The coating of ice and snow on the trees gave them a surreal quality as they glimmered in the afternoon light sneaking through the clouds. We soon emerged from the snow-covered woods onto an open expanse of rock covered by a layer of light snow. » Continue Reading.
Manhattan resident Kathy Drake has seen nearly 600 different bird species in her life and regularly travels to observe them. So when she recently found out there was a great gray owl in Keene, she decided to drive up to the Adirondacks to see it. After all, it was a lot closer to home than Minnesota, where she spent four days last year unsuccessfully looking for the bird.
“You don’t have any idea how magical this is,” Drake said. “It really is.”
Drake said she arrived in Keene with her friends in the early afternoon on Wednesday and planned to spend the night in Upper Jay before heading back to New York City the next day. » Continue Reading.
Two years ago a research team from Paul Smith’s College published a paper about the possibility that yellow perch could be native to the Adirondacks, after finding its DNA in sediment from Lower St. Regis Lake that dates back more than 2,000 years ago.
Now similar sediment core sampling is being done on Mirror Lake in Lake Placid. In late February Paul Smith’s College students under the tutelage of Paul Smith’s College Professor Curt Stager – who led the original study – teamed up with Ausable River Association Science and Stewardship Director Brendan Wiltse to take sediment samples that will be analyzed for the presence of three fish species: yellow perch, rainbow trout, and lake trout. The group also plans to extract additional samples in the future. The DNA testing will be done by the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College. » Continue Reading.
Growing up in Keene Valley, Sophie McClelland often sought solitude on Indian Head, a rocky cliff with a gorgeous view of Lower Ausable Lake in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.
Now twenty-seven, she noticed this summer that more people were visiting the lookout. One morning she arrived at sunrise to find a half-dozen people already there. Over Columbus Day weekend, she counted more than twenty-five hikers on the summit. » Continue Reading.